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Lam P.T.I.,Hong Kong Polytechnic University | Chan E.H.W.,Hong Kong Polytechnic University | Yu A.T.W.,Hong Kong Polytechnic University | Cam W.C.N.,RSP Architects Planners and Engineers Pte Ltd. | Yu J.S.,Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2015

Under the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), countries worldwide co-operate on encountering climate change by emissions trading, which enables a win-win situation by effectively "regenerating" a cleaner environment in developing countries, whilst efforts in developed countries may still not meet their committed targets of carbon reduction. According to the CDM rules, energy efficiency improvement projects in the building sector are valid for emissions trading. Although the potential saving of energy is significant, there is only a limited number of building projects being registered as CDM projects. This paper explores the applicability of CDM in the building sector by reviewing the implementation of CDM and its advantages and disadvantages. Hong Kong was selected for an in-depth study due to its eligibility for CDM and yet non-starter status. According to a questionnaire survey supplemented by interviews with the stakeholders in this study, major hindrances such as the lack of financial incentive, inadequate knowledge about emissions trading and insufficient governmental support were found in potential CDM projects in the building sector. It is recommended that an inter-city emissions trading market covering mainland China and Hong Kong, and suitable emission reduction targets should be established and led by the government at the initial stage. By setting up an emission exchange centre, local emissions trading activities could be facilitated and job opportunities could be created. In addition to conducting emissions trading, Hong Kong may also contribute to emissions trading in the region by making use of its highly skilled professional services and efficient business environment. This study paves the way for a densely built city such as Hong Kong to benefit environmentally and economically from a cleaner region in its vicinity. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Lam P.T.I.,Hong Kong Polytechnic University | Chan E.H.W.,Hong Kong Polytechnic University | Yu A.T.W.,Hong Kong Polytechnic University | Cam W.C.N.,RSP Architects Planners and Engineers Pte Ltd. | Yu J.S.,Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Facilities | Year: 2014

Purpose: This paper aims to investigate how unique features of built facilities would affect the application of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions trading, and to explore what adaptive measures may be taken for emissions trading to be applied to the built environment. Emissions trading is a financial tool to encourage GHG emissions reduction in various industries. As the building sector is responsible for a large amount of GHG emissions, it is valuable to explore the application of emissions trading in built facilities. Design/methodology/approach: The analysis is based on a comparative study reviewing the current emissions trading schemes (ETSs) in Australia, Japan and the UK covering the building industry, and to evaluate the approaches adopted by the schemes to tackle the problems related to buildings and facilities management. Findings: The research findings reveal that the small energy savings of individual building units, the large variety of energy-saving technologies and the split incentives and diverse interests of building owners and tenants would be the barriers hindering the development of emissions trading. To overcome these barriers, an ETS should allow its participants to group individual energy savings, lower the complexity of monitoring and reporting approaches and allow owners and tenants to benefit from emissions trading. Originality/value: This article provides a comprehensive overview of the current emissions trading practices in the built environment. Besides, it raises the attention and consciousness of policymakers to the need that building characteristics and facilities management should be taken into consideration when designing an ETS for the building sector. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Cam W.C.N.,RSP Architects Planners and Engineers Pte Ltd
Habitat International | Year: 2013

In facilitating the progress towards low-carbon cities, there is no lack of available green technologies, planning techniques, economic tools, social development strategies, etc. These technologies, strategies and techniques have, in fact, long been deployed in many cities and communities around the world. However, the outcomes have been somewhat slow and less than expected. This is also manifested in the lower-than-expectation outcomes of the formation of a meaningful global climate change treaty so far. The barriers have clearly been unveiled as disconnection among the triple bottom lines (TBL) in the approach. By linking the concept of low-carbon cities to sustainable development (informed by the TBL), the paper highlights the implication of misinterpretation of a popular TBL diagram, leading to fragmented, compromised approach to LCC. Cases in point are isolating and excluding social and economic activities that are not environmental friendly, and trading-off environmentally-friendly activities that are not profitable in economic sense. Re-interpretation the popular TBL diagram literally from a three-dimensional lens offers an alternative approach, presented in an integrated framework towards low-carbon cities. The vital factors in the framework are safeguarding the positive dynamic interconnectivities of the three bottom lines, aligning their core values (in contrast to the isolating and excluding exercise), amplifying their common interest (instead of trading-off activities), and deploying strategies from planning, renewable technologies, education and policy making to address multiple and interconnected issues reciprocally. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Cam W.C.N.,RSP Architects Planners and Engineers Pte Ltd.
International Journal of Sustainable Development | Year: 2010

The global communities, in the course of strategising actions to combat global warming, have recognised the huge potential of the building sector to mitigate climate change through reducing the sector's greenhouse gases emission. International organisations have begun campaigning for the building sector to be fully recognised in the renewal of international climate change treaty that will replace the Kyoto Protocol, which is going to expire in 2012. This paper takes a proponent position to this movement and aims to highlight the aspiration for the building sector to be pro-active in the contribution to reverse climate change, and the opportunities presented to such movement. Copyright © 2010 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

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